The Idaho Vandal men’s basketball team suffered a tough 81-77 loss to Northern Colorado on New Year’s Eve.
The Vandals suffered their third loss on the road this season against the Northern Colorado Bears, handing Idaho its first loss in Big Sky conference play.
It was not a fast start for either teams to begin the game on Sunday. Northern Colorado finally got the game rolling, taking as big as a nine-point lead in the first half. The Vandals fought their way back in the first to bring the game to a 37-35 score at the break.
The battle continued in the second half, with Idaho fighting to pull away from the Bears. Northern Colorado managed to weather a late Vandal storm in the final minutes to win the game 81-77.
Idaho finished shooting 33.3 percent from 3-point range and almost 50 percent from the floor. While the Vandals won the rebounding battle, it was the turnovers that created troubled. Idaho finished the game with 13 turnovers.
Four of Idaho’s starters finished in double digit scoring, and combining for 63 of the team’s points.
Idaho senior forward Brayon Blake and senior guard Victor Sanders led the way for the Vandals with Blake finishing with 17 points and eight rebounds and Sanders adding 19 points.
Senior point guard Perrion Callandret added on 16 points of his own, with senior forward Jordan Scott finishing with 11.
Idaho head coach Don Verlin said in a news release that the game came down to crucial plays.
“You look at the stat sheet and it’s almost equal,” Verlin said. “The bottom line to this game is just a little bit, a few plays here and there that make the difference to beat a team on the road. I thought we made some mistakes tonight that we need to clean up.”
The Idaho Vandals return take on Sacramento State Thursday in the Cowan Spectrum.
Chris Deremer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org